ICT, Apps and Mobile Phones as Computers

Education in the last few years has changed a great deal with the development of computer connectivity, the Internet, the lowering of data costs, and the recent push of ICT linked to the Covid pandemic. The changes in education require that teachers themselves become life-long learners and keep up with the changes. One change is using ICT, apps and mobile phones as computers.

Undergraduate students are required to complete a computer literacy course so when they enter a post graduate qualification program such as the Post Graduate Certificate in Education they already have basic computer skills. What is then required is learning how to use information technology in the class and the latest popular apps. 

The module ICT for Teaching in the Senior & FET Phase covers using videos, setting out text and images in a poster, using a slide show, using quizzes, using a mobile app and using shared learning objects, all for educational purposes. All of these activities are taught using current popular free apps such as RenderForest and Powtoon for the videos; Canva for arranging text and images in a poster; PowerPoint for the slide show; Google Forms, Kahoot, Canvas, Edmodo, Quizizz and Hot Potatoes for the quizzes, Glide for the mobile app and Canvas for the sharing of learning objects. 

For most of the students the ‘new’ feature is creating their own mobile app to share information and to add information, as well as creating their own chat app. Mobile phones are carried by most young people at school, with or without the school’s permission. They are mainly used for social networking, looking up information on the internet, or doing naughty things. Mobile phones are powerful computers which could be utilised for so much more to enhance education. So with Glideapps the students will create mobile apps for educational use. Glideapps is a very powerful app where the interface is displayed on a mobile, and all the text is linked to Google Sheets stored in the cloud. The only limitations of what can be created are linked to the knowledge of the developer/student of spreadsheets. The students have different levels of spreadsheet skills. We are going to cover the basics and watch what happens. The students must learn to explore and become life-long learners and this module attempts to do this.

Dr Pam Miller